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Four ways to wrangle your kids when you’re shopping

By Louise Lavery For Families Magazine – Gold Coast

Trying to navigate the minefield known as ‘shopping with kids’? Check out our cheeky list of hints and tips!

Tick-tick-tick BOOM!

Parenting can be tough. Parenting in public can be tough. Parenting in public when you’re shopping with kids and having to navigate all that comes with it? The toughest.

Trying to get the groceries done when you’ve got kids in tow is no ones’ idea of a party but there are some easy shortcuts that you can use to make the process a little more painless.

Shopping with kids? You need preparation!

When you know in advance that you’re going to be going on a shopping jaunt with the kidlets, try to prep as much as possible. This would NEVER have occurred to me before having kids but now I know that with my little ones I need at least one spare change of clothes for everyone including me. Milkshake poured into my bra – need I say more? That was a sticky car ride home on a hot day.

Snacks, sippy cups, back up sippy cups, toys, books. Take whatever you need to negotiate peace for long enough to squeeze all the avocados but still be confused about what a ripe one feels like.

Shopping with kids? You need entertainment!

I’m not necessarily talking screens if you don’t believe in that. What I’m talking is whatever little nuggets of entertainment get you through the shopping with kids journey. For some kids (mine) that might mean being wrapped up in the Tula so he can gently pull my hair like I’m a horse. Humiliating? Sure. Painful? My hairline has gradually receded. Does it make him happy and keep him entertained so I can do my thang? Absolutely.

Shopping with kids? You need good timing!

This is a hard one and not always possible. Pick your battles. On reflection – was Sunday at 530pm a good time for me to take the tribe to Woolworths so we could battle every single person in the world for the last loaf of bread? Possibly not. Avoiding peak times at the shops means less run ins with the kind of people who like to give you public parenting opinions. Best given a wide berth.

Shopping with kids? You need assistance!

I find this one makes everyone happy. If you ever were, or know, someone who works at a place like Aldi or Coles then you know that they typically feel pretty ignored. People usually only talk to them to complain – otherwise they get brushed past completely.

If you say, in a genuine and friendly way, “I can never find eggs. Please help!” not only will you find that they take you straight to them but they may even help you juggle your load! Shopping with kids and making new pals? Hell yeah!

Any other tips?

Have you got any suggestions to make shopping with kids easier for newer parents? Let us know in the comments!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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